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Andrews & Beaven

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William Andrews & Arthur Beaven of Christchurch NZ

Andrews & Beaven Cast Spanner © Ozwrenches

All images on this website are copyright. Should you feel the need to use any of them - do the right thing and make contact on the link below and make you request.

Table of Contents

  • Some Andrews & Beaven info
  • The original A & B Building, later destroyed by fire
  • Range of A & B Chaffcutters
  • Pic of the "Australian" Chaffcutter, first produced in 1880


Andrews & Beaven

William Andrews (1838 - 1936) of Wiltshire, England, engineers, with many patents in haymaking & food preparation industries, migrates to Christchurch, New Zealand. By 1876, Andrews has exhibited his portable self bagging chaffcutter at the Christchurch show, claimed to be the first of its kind in the world.

Arthur Beaven (1856 - 1944) also of Wiltshire, apprenticed to Steam Engine makers Brown & May of Devizes. Beaven also migrates to Christchurch where he meets Andrews, and in 1878 they form the partnership of Andrews & Beaven (A & B).

The partners drew modest wages, reinvesting all profits back into the firm to build it up. By 1879, records show that production was 5 straw elevators, 7 chaff cutters & 13 mashing machines. In 1884 the firm produced the first double bagging chaffcutters and Beavan visits Australia and is greeted enthusiastically by Australian farmers.

It was not long before A & B chaffcutters become an integral part of rural economies in the Australian colonies. Most Chaffcutters in Tasmania were by A & B, many in NSW & Qld and WA, not so in Vic where gov't import duty of 33% made them uncompetitive. It is estimated that about half of A & B chafcutters were exported to Australia.

In 1903, A & B started inporting Blackstone Oil Engines.

In 1906, A & B become a private company.

By 1926, when producton of regular chaffcutters had ceased there had been about 4500 produced in total. The tractor was replacing the horse, so demand for chaffcutters had fallen away.

A & B were agents for Peterborough tractors, later Hart parr, and later Allis Chalmers.

The depression of 1929 - 1934 very nearly finished the company, but A & B somehow managed to struggle on, using up reserves, and selling of land. In 1935 things started to recover, and A & B added crawler tractors & graders to their line. In 1936 - Allis Chalmers (A C) - tractors, harvesters and associated equipment. The AC line laid the basis for their industrial range and eventually Industrial Division.

During the war, A & B made flax machines for the government to help with the war effort.

After the war, agricultural machinery became but a small part of the business, and Materials Handling and other industrial, quarrying, motor spares and other divisions were added to the company.

A & B were wound up in 1987.

Ref's - "Andrews & BeavenLtd - 100 years 1878 / 1978".

Note: if anyone can supply pictures of other Andrews & Beaven tools or catalogue material, please make contact on the link below.


The original A & B Building, later destroyed by fire © Ozwrenches

Range of A & B Chaffcutters © Ozwrenches

Pic of the "Australian" Chaffcutter, first produced in 1880 © Ozwrenches



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